Today is a Holy Day in the Catholic Church [All Saints Day] and I attended Mass this morning in our local parish. I was not "feeling" any real devotion. Sometimes [who am I kidding? always] when I attend Church I really miss John a lot and today was no exception. And often that makes it hard for me to get into the spirit of Mass. Seeing all the couples at Church just brings home to me how John is not here with me. Plus we always attended Church together. We got to hug each other during the Sign of Peace and John would tell me that he loved me. Then when it was time for Communion John always stepped aside and let me walk ahead of him in line. Sometimes, he would touch my shoulder as we walked up.
So I was remembering all of that today and then, ahead a few pews, I saw a man dressed very much like John - khaki pants and a navy blue Hawaiin shirt. In fact, it reminded me a lot of the shirt that I dressed John in in his casket. So those thoughts were running through my mind during Mass.
And then it was time to go up for Communion.
Again, missing John.
And then it was time for me to receive.
Who do you think was the man who gave me Communion?
Yes, the man dressed like John!
I smiled inside and gave thanks and said Hello to John.
Was this a Hello from him?
Maybe. Why not?
How else can he communicate to me now? I truly believe that if we are open to these little Hello's they will continue to happen until we are reunited.
But I also realize that not everyone sees things the way I do.
And that's OK.
But it doesn't mean I have to expose myself to it.
Case in point:
I have been following the blog of a woman who, unfortunately, is going through the same thing I am. She lost her Love just a few weeks before John passed.
She writes - sometimes very well - about her grief and how others react to it. Some of her blogs have inspired me to write similarly here.
But this past week we disagreed - big time. And I feel she belittled my beliefs so I decided to let her go. She's certainly entitled to what she believes and feels. But I see no point in following someone who so clearly believes something so opposite of what I do. In fact, I had no idea how divergent our thoughts were until her response to me on my comment.
She had been bemoaning the fact that she has never heard from her soul-mate since he passed and that she truly believed that there is no where for us to go after we die. She thinks. She's not sure, obviously, or why would she complain about not hearing from him? If he went into oblivion, from where would he reach her? She was also poo-poo-ing "near death experiences" claiming they were nothing more than biological occurrences.
So I offered my thoughts [here is most of what I wrote]:
Dead is not dead – that is the point. In fact, there is no such thing as
death. Death is what we perceive from this side of the veil. The point
of near-death experiences and this doctor’s particular experience is to
show that we are consciousness, we are eternal spirit and that never
“dies”. We go on forever. The fact that people with flat-line EEG’s can
come back to tell of these experiences [and they are all so similar
there must be some truth there] shows, at least to me and many who are
more learned than I am, that we are not our brain, we are not our body.
We are spirit. We just inhabit this body. I believe that what we believe
determines how much of the afterlife we experience, from this side and
the next. As we evolve and realize that there is more to us than muscle
and bone and brain, then we open up ourselves to all sorts of
experiences, the likes of which we can only glimpse from this side.
No, that doctor wasn’t truly dead but his body had started to shut down.
In fact, they were going to take him off life support when he woke up.
And knowing what I know of his illness, his brain was too ill and his
body was too far gone for what he experienced to have been imaginings.
His experience might be one to chalk off to an aberration if he were the
only one to experience these things, but he’s not. Just like past life
experiences that can be verified, near death experiences teach us [at
least they do me] that there is more to life than what we perceive with
our five senses in the short span of years that we are here [this time].
A near death experience can never be a full death experience. But does
that make his story any less real, any less useful? It’s the closest
thing we have right now to understanding what happens when we die and
isn’t that a comforting thing?
She responded that she was glad I found comfort in these "stories" but she continued to believe that "It’s entirely possible near death experiences are a different form of
human consciousness that have nothing to do with being dead. They could
be a sort of dream, some deep stimulation of the limbic system, or a dip
in the collective unconscious."
What can you say to someone like that?
So I will no longer try.
But I'm glad John said Hello to me this morning. I know he's with me. I know he still loves me.
I know it. I feel it.
And I don't need to justify or explain that to anyone.